The aim of any reconstruction is to provide a robust and cosmetically pleasing result that does not significantly alter function. We describe our experience of using the V-Y principle in advancement flaps designed around a distinct perforator to reconstruct soft tissue defects of the upper limb. The shortcomings of fasciocutaneous and fascial flaps requiring skin grafting can be eliminated.
This was a 10-year retrospective review of patients who had V-Y flaps based on a distinct perforator for defects of the shoulder, axilla, arm, elbow, forearm, wrist, and hand. Defects of the digits and thumb were excluded.
There were 59 flaps in 52 patients with an average age of 44 years (18–72 years). Skin malignancy was the most common primary etiology. The average defect size was 35 cm2 (9–80 cm2). There were no total flap failures; however, there were 4 partial losses, which healed by secondary intention. Seven flaps had to be explored for the hematoma evacuation.
The use of V-Y flaps based on distinct perforators in the upper limb retains limb aesthetics, allows early mobility and is a safe and reliable technique.